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A Tribute to a Leader

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A Tribute to a Leader

Kathryn A. Martin had a passion for progress. From buildings to degree programs, from scholarships to athletics, change and innovation were her mantras.

Martin, the previous chancellor of UMD was recognized on October 7, 2013 for her support she has given UMD throughout the many year. Because of her commitment to UMD, as well as her passion to help students learn, the UMD Library was renamed the Kathryn A. Martin Library in her honor.

Several activities were held for the dedication on October 7th, including library tours, a Dedication Ceremony held in the library, n all-campus reception in the library, and the 12th Annual Weber Concert in the Weber Music Hall.

martin-kamMartin served as chancellor of UMD from 1995-2010. She was the first female chancellor in the University of Minnesota system. She spearheaded the efforts to fund and construct many buildings and building additions at the university, including the $26 million state-of-the-art UMD Library in 2000. On the day the library opened, Martin said, “A library is the heart and soul of a college, and this beautiful and well-equipped library will lead our students into the future of learning — each in his or her own discipline.”

Under Martin’s leadership, the campus experienced a $167 million construction boom between 1998 and 2010, which produced ten buildings in addition to the library. The Weber Music Hall opened in 2002, Kirby Plaza in 2004, James I. Swenson Science Building in 2005, the UMD Sports and Health Center addition in 2006, Life Science renovation in 2006, Labovitz School of Business and Economics in 2008, Malosky Stadium renovation in 2008, the Bagley Environmental Classroom in 2009, the Chester Park building in 2009, and the James I. Swenson Civil Engineering Building in 2010.

Martin’s leadership brought about significant milestones.

– The Blue Heron UMD Research Vessel was acquired in 1997 and provides important Lake Superior fresh water research by UMD professors with worldwide significance and global implications.
– A new UMD Women’s Hockey Team hit the ice in 1999 and went on to win five NCAA Div. I national championships by 2010.
– The Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree program was established in 2007, the first doctoral program to b delivered entirely from the UMD campus.
– A Ph.D program in Integrated Biosciences (IBS) was established in 2008.
– The football team won the NCAA Div. II national championship in 2008.
– Between 1995 and 2010, $97 million funding was raised through donor gifts to support UMD campus projects, programs, scholarships and personnel.
– UMD’s enrollment grew from 7,500 in 1995-96 to 11,300 in the 2009-10 school year.
– Martin was named a member of the College of Fellows of the University of Worchester in fall 2012.

UMD’s first library, which was in one room, and had seats for 250 people, was originally housed in the 1902 Old Main building at 23rd Avenue East and Fifth Street, on the lower campus. Old Main burned down in 1993 but the arches to the main entrance still remain.

The second UMD library was built on the upper campus in 1955. With increasing enrollment, additions were completed in 1965 and 1967, providing room for 800 readers and shelving 200,000 volumes. Forty years took their toll on the building. The lack of climate control and air conditioning was not optimal for books and technology. The need for a new library was clear.

The quest for funding to build UMD’s third library became Kathryn A. Martin’s highest priority. In 1996, planning funds were received from the Minnesota State Legislature; in 1998, a groundbreaking event was held; and in 2000, the building, designed by Duluth’s Stanius Johnson Architects, was completed. The new UMD library features areas for nearly 1,400 users, a warm red brick exterior with stone trim, great expanses of windows in the reading rooms for natural light, and a two-story rotunda with panoramic views. A chandelier, created by artist Dale Chihuly, is on display in the entry. At the time it was built, the UMD Library was the most technologically-advanced library in Minnesota.

The building is still impressive and its still a draw for visitors and new students to the campus. The library staff continues to respond to changing information needs and that is attracting a record number of users. The library logged the highest gate counts for a similar time period in the first few weeks of the 2013-2014 school year. This year, the library took another bold step toward providing students with relevant services by opening a new Learning Commons on its second floor.

(Story provided by UMD External Affairs / Written by Cheryl Reitan with Ellie Neigebauer)